I don't know how I missed the announcement of Melvin Cooper's retirement party. I would have been there with bells on to offer my congratulations and best wishes for a great retirement to a guy who is someone everyone wants as a friend.
I met Melvin in 2002 as the city was preparing to host the 2003 Sprint Canoe and Kayak World Championships at the Olympic venue. I was the officials coordinator, and I was going to need the civic center’s vans to pick them up at the airport as well as shuttle them around Gainesville. Melvin was so cordial and helpful, making my job so much easier as he made arrangements for me to use the vans.
Through the years following, I would run into Melvin around town and he always remembered me with a smile and a handshake. As genuine a gentleman as you'll ever find.
Melvin, I wish you the best and happiest years of retirement, and I for one will know you will never get bored! Congratulations!